2-yo instigator needs the Doctor's orders


This is a follow up question to Toddler Bedtime Bedlam.

We've been following the advise to calmly tell our 3 and 2 year old they must stay in bed every night, sometimes we go in up to 7 times a night. My husband feels this may be causing them to disregard our words at this point since they are repeatedly getting out of bed and we are repeatedly going in without any consequences to the disobedience. It seemed to get better for a while when we first started doing it, maybe because it was new but now they seem to be on to us and just carrying on again and again almost expecting us to show up and then they run to their beds. They have a potty that they use but they also go to it more frequently than necessary just to get out of bed.

The older boy is a good sleeper and needs a full night and is upset when we come in but the younger laughs at us, is an instigator and this is a game to him. Prior to our move in which they now share a room the older one had been trained to stay in bed until we came in the next morning (except to use potty) and does well with this structure. The younger boy had until recently been confined to a crib and separate room to jump around in and be noisy by himself with no one to have fun with so he would typically flame out fairly quickly and go to sleep. It was just the way it was and it worked with out us having to directly address it. We always felt he would be a challenge though once he got transferred to a big boy bed but we don't know how or if we should single him out for some correction on this since he is the main problem and it is affecting the older one negatively as well.

They aren't tearing up the bedroom like they used to and that more than anything drove me nuts. But now my concern is that they aren't obeying and staying in bed and maybe think it's ok to disregard us. Does this need more time or is this setting a bad precedent for disobedience in general since we don't back up our words with anything and we have to repeat ourselves many times each night?

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